• population: 13,600,000
  • capital city: Toronto
  • music revenue: $429 million yearly – 82% of Canada’s total music revenue
  • Toronto is home to Canada’s only NBA (Raptors) and MLB (Blue Jays) teams
  • Ontario borders the Great Lakes – the largest group of freshwater lakes on Earth

Over 75% of Canada’s audio recording industry is based in Ontario, with many businesses located in the Golden Horseshoe area of western Lake Ontario, including the city of Toronto.

MusicOntario is the voice of Ontario’s emerging companies and artist entrepreneurs


MusicOntario is a non-profit, membership-based division of the Canadian Independent Music Association, also known as CIMA. Its mission is to provide professional development, education, information, and support to the music industry of Ontario.

The association delivers programs, services, performance opportunities and initiatives that assist in nurturing, developing, promoting, and sustaining growth within the provincial music sector.

MusicOntario supports and develops both the emerging and established independent industry in all markets province-wide. The organization strives to grow and deliver accessible support in the form of digital resources and one-on-one consultations with members.

Between January 2015 and January 2016, MusicOntario delivered 41 events, ranging from workshops, panels, B2B and peer mentorship sessions, to showcasing (domestic and international), networking and professional development, whether in the form of free, low cost or subsidized programming.

Over 3500 artists, emerging and established industry professionals, stakeholders and music fans took part in or attended MusicOntario events in 17 cities across six provinces/states and four countries! Looking ahead into the first half of 2016, another 30 events across the province are in the pipeline, with more to come through to 2017.

Music and Film in Motion (MFM) is Northern Ontario’s grassroots music industry association. Its job is to create and encourage opportunities that support the growth of the vibrant music scene in Northern Ontario. Through education, promotion and advocacy, MFM is committed to ensuring the success of the Northern Ontario music industry on a regional, provincial and national scale.


Music and Film in Motion logo

Explore the Province of Ontario


Ottawa Bluesfest 2013
Ontario is located in the great Canadian Shield – this means lots of rocks and trees and trees and rocks and water, high chances of encountering a moose (be careful when driving at night).

And more picturesque small towns than you can shake a Beaver Tail at!

Yet with its many urban centres, Ontario is an ideal place for touring – if you don’t want an epic drive between gigs, and want access to many large markets in a close proximity.

Despite Canada’s national pastime of resenting Toronto, as Ontario’s capital city it has the 4th largest population in North America, and is the most culturally diverse city in Canada.

Field Trip festival 2014

Key Regions in the Province of Ontario

Toronto population 2,615,060

The number of music industry assets in Toronto almost matches the rest of Ontario combined, which makes it easier for artists to connect with industry professionals, but also heightens the level of competition amongst businesses. 70 percent of all of the province’s artist management companies based in Toronto.

70 percent of all of province’s artist management companies are based in Toronto.

Key venues/clubs: Massey Hall, Air Canada Centre, Phoenix Concert Theatre, Danforth Music Hall, The Horseshoe, Cameron House, Mod Club, Koerner Hall, The Rex, Sneaky Dees, Lee’s Palace, The Drake Hotel, Kool Haus, Hugh’s Room, Wrongbar, Sound Academy

Key radio: Indi 88, CIUT, Ici Musique Toronto, JAZZ.FM91, KISS 92.5, FLOW 93-5, CBC Radio 2 Toronto, boom 97.3, 99.9 Virgin, CMR, 102.1 The Edge, Proud FM, CHUM FM, EZ Rock, Aboriginal Voices Radio, Q107, CHIN

Universities and colleges: University of Toronto, York University, Ryerson University, Seneca College, George Brown College, Humber College, Centennial College, OCADu, Toronto Royal Conservatory of Music

Ottawa population 883,391

In terms of music industry infrastructure, Ottawa is more developed than most other communities in Ontario. With the exception of Toronto, no other city boasts greater numbers of recording studios or booking agents.

Key venues/clubs: National Arts Centre, Bronson Centre, Capital City Music Hall, Barrymores Music Hall, Babylon Nightclub, The Roxy, Café Dekcuf, Mavericks Bar, Mercury Lounge, Ritual Nightclub

Key radio: Live 88.5, CHOU-FM, Hot 89.9, Première Ottawa-Gatineau, CBC Radio 1 Ottawa, Jack FM, Jewel 92.5, New Country 94, Aboriginal Voices Radio, Rythme FM, Boom 99.7, Country 101.1, 101.9 DAWG FM, CHEZ 106, myFM.

Universities and colleges: University of Ottawa, Carleton University, Algonquin College

Hamilton population 519,949

Hamilton has a strong artistic community, with new initiatives at the municipal level helping to further artistic and music industry development. Even with its proximity to Toronto, Hamilton has an thriving independent music industry with access to booking agents, artist managers, and recording studios.

key venues/clubs: Lincoln Alexander Concert Theatre, Copps Coliseum, Cayuga Speedway, International Lounge, Club Absinthe

key radio: Indie 88, CBC Radio 1 Kitchener-Waterloo, CIUT, Giant FM, The Grand, Country 92.9, CFMU-FM McMaster, CFRU, FLOW 93.5, CBC Radio 2 Toronto, KX96, CHYM, CKRW, G 98.7, Sound FM, Proud FM, KOOL FM, Aboriginal Voices Radio, Country 106.7

Universities and colleges: McMaster University, Mohawk College

London population 366,151

Key venues/clubs: London Music Hall, London Music Club, Centennial Hall, Call the Office, Molly Bloom’s Irish Pub, Rum Runners, Norma Jean’s

Key radio: CNC Radio One London, My FM, CHRW, FM96, 97-5 Virgin Radio, Free FM, Première Toronto, CGC Radio 2 Toronto, 103.1 Fresh Radio, Country 104, Heart FM, 106.9 The X, CHGK-FM.

Universities and colleges: University of Western Ontario, Fanshawe College

London is a provincial centre for technical side of the music industry with recording engineering programs at Fanshawe College and the Ontario Institute of Audio Recording Technology

Kitchener/Waterloo population 317,933

With three major post secondary school institutions, the dual cities of Kitchener/Waterloo are a natural stop for many performers on the colleges and universities circuit.

Key venues/clubs: WAX Nghtclub, Circus Room, The Boathouse, Centre in the Square

Key radio: Mix 88.1, CBC Radio 1 Kitchener-Waterloo, CBC Radio 2 Toronto, The Beat, The Grand, CFRU, KX 94.7, CKWR, Sound FM, K-Lite fm, Country 104, Heart FM, KOOL FM, Country 106.7, CHGK-FM, Radio Laurier

Universities and colleges: University of Waterloo, Wilfred Laurier University, Conestoga College

Windsor and Sarnia population 283,257

Lying just south of the city of Detroit, Michigan, Windsor is a gateway between Canada and the United States.

Key venues/clubs: Olde Walkerville Theatre, Whiskey Piano Bar & Grill, The Blind dog, Masonic Temple Ballroom, MicLordz, Dooly’s Windsor Nova Scotia

Key radio: 89X, CBC Radio 2 Toronto, Max FM, The River, Country 95.9, Mix 96.7, CBC Radio one Windsor, CJAM, 1000.7 Lite FM

Universities and colleges: University of Windsor, St. Clair College, Lambton College

St. Catharines and Niagara Region population 214,000

The Niagara Region has a vibrant entertainment life, built around one of the seven wonders of the world and its proximity to the United States.

Key venues/clubs: Fallsview Casino Resort, Casino Niagara, Club Heidelberg, Seneca Queen Theatre, Scotiabank Convention Centre

Key radio: CBC Radio 1 Toronto, Giant FM, 97.7 HTZ-FM, 2Day FM, CFBU-FM, EZ Rock,

Universities and colleges: Brock University, Niagara College Of Applied Arts And Technology

Sudbury population 160,274

Key venues/clubs: The Grand www.facebook.com/GrandNightclub, 1500 Pub & Grill www.sudburymusicscene.com/1500_Pub, The Townehouse Tavern www.thetownehouse.com, Ten Lounge www.tenlounge.ca, Fraser Auditorium (Laurentian University), Sudbury Theatre Centre www.sudburytheatre.ca, Sudbury Arena

Key radio: KICX 91.7 FM (country), Q92 FM (rock), Hot 93.5 FM (chr), CKLU-FM 96.7 FM (college), Le Loup 98.9 FM (fr – hot adult contemporary), KiSS 105.3 FM (hot adult contemporary)

Universities and colleges: Laurentian University www.laurentian.ca, Collège Boréal www.collegeboreal.ca, Cambrian College www.cambriancollege.ca

Thunder Bay population 108,359

Key venues/clubs: The Foundry www.thefoundrypub.com, Black Pirates Pub www.blackpiratespub.com, Crocks www.facebook.com/crockstbay, The Apollo Bar and Grill theapollobar@gmail.com, The Outpost Campus Pub outpost.lusu.ca, The Rockhouse www.rockhousetbay.com, Thunder Bay Community Auditorium www.tbca.com, Fort William Gardens www.thunderbay.ca/Living/recreation_and_parks/Facilities/Arenas/Fort_William_Gardens.htm

Key radio: Rock 94.3 (rock), 91.5 CKPR FM (hit radio), Magic 99.9 FM (hit radio), Country 105 FM (country), CILU-FM 102.7 FM (college)

Universities and colleges: Lakehead University www.lakeheadu.ca, Confederation College www.confederationc.on.ca

Ontario’s major festivals

Canadian Music Week

http://www.cmw.net/Toronto, ON

Over 30 years-old and going strong, CANADIAN MUSIC WEEK is recognized as one of the premier entertainment events in North America focusing on the business of music.

They bring together sound recording, new media and broadcast for one spectacular week of events combining informative, intensive conferences, a cutting edge trade exhibition, award shows, film festival, comedy festival and Canada’s biggest New Music Festival.

The Canadian Music Week festival spans 5 nights of performances, with 1,000 showcasing bands at more than 60 live music venues in downtown Toronto.

Festival alumni: Stars, Metric, Rihanna, Bombay Bicycle Club, Hollerado, Shad.

Indie Week Canada

www.indieweek.comToronto, ON

Indie Week is an annual music festival held over four days/nights, featuring local & international acts performing in the heart of Toronto, Canada.

Showcases are judged by members of the music industry, and the top scoring act receives a paid trip (flights and accommodations for up to five band members) to headline INDIE WEEK IRELAND.

Indie 101 music industry conference is a series of seminars, demo listening sessions and mixers spread out over 3 days of Indie Week. Hosted by some of the most knowledgeable and respected experts in the entertainment industry, it covers the latest in music, film and tech.

Indie Week is an alternative, artist-friendly festival that supports emerging & upcoming artists.

Field Trip

http://fieldtriplife.com/Fort York and Garrison Common, Toronto, ON

Field Trip began in 2013 as a celebration of Arts & Crafts’ 10th anniversary, but is now an annual, world-class, two-day boutique music and arts festival situated in the heart of downtown Toronto.

The festival has expanded beyond music to focus on highlighting the community’s best culinary offerings, as well as collaborative explorations on the themes of art, photography, technology, fashion and more.

Festival alumni: Broken Social Scene, Bloc Party, Dan Mangan, Feist, Hayden.

North by Northeast (NXNE)

http://nxne.com/Toronto, ON

In its more than 20 years, North by Northeast Festival and Conference (NXNE) has become the Canadian festival destination for emerging artists and major-label headliners, music filmmakers, comedians, visual, sound, and other artists, and for digital interactive innovators bridging the gap between technology and the arts.

In all, NXNE runs 10 days and nights, draws over 350,000 attendees, and generates an annual economic impact of approximately $50 million in the city of Toronto.

Festival Alumni: The National, July Talk, The Flaming Lips, Of Montreal, Bad Religion.

VELD Music Festival

http://veldmusicfestival.com/Downsview Park, Toronto, ON

Downsview Park plays host to one of Toronto’s newest festivals, Veld. The event spans over three days and is filled with some of the biggest names that EDM has to offer.

From sun-up to sun-down it’s one giant dance party, and the ultimate festival for fans of electronic music

Festival alumni: Deadmau5, Avicii, Steve Aoki, Bassnector.

Ottawa Blues Fest

http://www.ottawabluesfest.ca/Lebreton Flats, Ottawa, ON

Over the past 16 years, more than a million people have tuned in their ears and opened their hearts to some of the biggest names in the music industry.

In more recent years, Bluesfest has become the Canadian version of Bonnaroo, Coachella, and/or the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage festival, all highly regarded tourist attractions and highly popular outdoor music festivals.

Festival alumni: Rush, Fun, The Tragically Hip, Belle & Sebastian, Animal Collective.

Hillside Festival

http://www.hillsidefestival.ca/Guelph, ON

Hillside will be singing their hearts out at this year’s summer festival as they present to you an eclectic array of fantastic performers from well-seasoned professionals to passionate newcomers.

Fresh to Hillside or fresh to the stage, they will conjure you, body and mind, into that music-revelling space that is Hillside.

Festival Alumni: July Talk, Timber Timbre, A Tribe Called Red, Hollerado, Fucked Up.

Folk Music Ontario

http://www.folkmusicontario.ca/folk-music-ontario-conference/Toronto, ON

Folk Music Ontario conference, Canada’s largest annual folk music conference, is the key event for Ontario’s folk, roots, and traditional music community.

Spanning four days and three nights, it’s a long weekend programmed to the hilt with provocative speakers, educational seminars, engaging roundtable discussions, informal meetings, performer showcases, and the best jam sessions outside of the festival circuit.

These all combine to make the FMO conference an essential and inspiring experience for over 750 delegates including artistic directors, presenters, and provincial, national, and international industry organizations.


http://www.megaphono.ca/Ottawa, ON

Ottawa’s music showcase festival MEGAPHONO sees 60 artists perform over four days in early February and it also includes an industry conference.

Attendees will enjoy four solid days of music, with all performances open to the public – additional panels and networking opportunities with industry reps are available to those purchasing a delegate pass.

Booking agents, record labels, music publishers, film/TV music supervisors, managers, publicists and other industry folks will be treated to an insider’s look at the city and its burgeoning music scene.

Boots & Hearts

http://bootsandhearts.com/Burl’s Creek Event Grounds, Oro-Medonte, ON

Boots and Hearts is the largest country music festival of its kind ever to be hosted on Canadian soil.

It is a 4-day country music and camping festival where music lovers of all genres can escape from the rigors of daily life, band together with thousands of other country music fans and experience a once-in-a-lifetime event that they will never forget.

Located in Oro-Medonte, Ontario. Just 15 minutes north of Barrie. Nestled behind groves of mature maples, the vast meadows will surround our event and show off our beautiful Canadian landscape.

Festival alumni: Carrie Underwood, Tim Mcgraw, Kid Rock, Big & Rich.

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